Gloucester Harborwalk

Gloucester, MA

Stop, linger and learn along one of America’s oldest working seaports.

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The Project

Tourists descend upon this Cape Ann fishing city for whale watches and seafood dinners yet would leave without a real understanding of the layered history that makes this working seaport a vital year round community. Working with City leaders and volunteer committees, we identified the untapped areas throughout the harbor-front as a way to weave the complete story of the city.

The Approach

To create an experience instead of simply a landscaped promenade, we designed story posts and iconography that illustrate the various points of interest and untold tales along the walk. This experiential wayfinding is QR code-enabled for in-depth exploration. Local granite, boardwalks and indigenous plants and grasses complement and blend with the industrial reality of a working port.

The Result

The trail meanders along the waterfront connecting the working port, cultural stops, shops and restaurants, artist galleries and studios to tell the many stories encompassing the City’s rich character. The Harborwalk is a popular tourist destination and successful education tool that gives locals and visitors a new understanding of the culture, history and challenges of this iconic fishing city.

waterfront path

1.2mile

granite story posts

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Edward Hopper's Gloucester artwork

9+ paintings

An intimate view of the harborfront, giving access to the town’s history — and the water itself — without disturbing the working port, or cutesifying it.

Glenn Collins, New York Times

We think this Harborwalk will tell our story of innovation and history and we all need to be connected to this special place. We want our visitors to connect to this place, too.

State Senator Bruce Tarr

Team Leaders

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